The year is merrily slowing to a stop. New Years Eve is closing in and I couldn’t be more ready. This has been a year of confusion, loss, and change. There have been many many great times and the beginning of a gap year I am sure I will appreciate forever, but I am ready to welcome 2015 with enthusiasm and fresh hope.
However, I do have one order of business to attend to before I am fully ready to zoom zoom away into another year of great reading. It is time to draw a list of my very favorite books from 2014. Without further ado,
Top 14 Reads of 2014 ( In no particular order)
The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
This book found a special place at the top of my all-time favorites lists and a close spot on my heart. Perhaps it was partly due to the fact that I had been vigorously studying Nazi Germany. But even outside of the fact that it is splendid historical fiction, this book reaches to the depths of the human soul (mine anyway) and offers a sweet story that no one could possibly read and forget. It was the book of 2014 that probably had me thinking the hardest and for the longest time. I hope its impact never fades.
The Importace of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde
On a lighter note, this may be one of the most hilarious pieces of fiction I’ve ever read. It definitely reigns as my all-time favorite play. It was the book of 2014 that made me laugh the loudest.
MiddleMarch – George Elliot
I hated this book all the way to the very very end. And yet, by the time I had closed the back cover I realized that it was beautiful and that it had impacted me profoundly. I still often think back to it with fondness. It was the book of 2014 with the best ending.
When You Reach Me – Rebecca Stead
This is the smartest children’s novel I have ever read. Reading books like this give me hope that the world of children’s literature world is not ending, but is in fact being vastly improved. And don’t be scared away by the J in the call number. Anyone could read this book and be wowwed to the floor. It was the book of 2014 that surprised me the most.
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
I love books that help me see situations, events, or life in general in a new way. This book definitely did that for me. Aside from a fresh outlook, as I dove into the first few chapters I realized that reading it would just be a real treat. The prose are beautiful and the characters breath. It is the book of 2014 that made me the most angry.
O Jerusalem – Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre
A non-fiction book never felt so much like fiction. Collins and Lapierre manage to to explain the complex characters and events surrounding the formation of the nation of Israel in a beautiful and storylike way while remaining interesting, educational, and easy to understand. This was the book of 2014 from which I learned the most.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
You know that rare occasion when you find a book that sits on your desk ask a perfect escape whenever you need it? Or that moment when you find a jewel of a novel that is so enjoyable to read you wish it went on and on forever? That is how A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was for me. This is the book of 2014 I related to the most.
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
Don’t get me started. Just read it. It was the book of 2014 that I most want to read again.
Murder On The Orient Express – Agatha Christie
The ABC Murders – Agatha Christie
After finishing all the novels and short stories of Sherlock Holmes twice, I decided it was time to branch out and try some new detectives. Of all the detective stories I tried, Agatha Christie was by far my favorite. Each and every plot has a brilliant and crazy ending. Yet, unlike Sherlock Holmes, if you watch and think very carefully throughout the entire novel, she gives you all the clues to be able to figure it out yourself. These were the books of 2014 that made me shiver the most.
My Antonia – Willa Cather
Despite the fact that I never read this book before and do not hail from Nebraska, this book just felt nostalgic. It was like enjoying memories that aren’t your own. Such a unique experience had to be recognized. It was the book of 2014 with the most warm and fuzzy feels.
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy – Eric Metaxas
Deidrich Bonhoeffer was a hero of mine before I read this book, but I learned so much more about him and was truly inspired by his courage and faith in Christ. Eric Metataxas does a splendid job of weaving his life together with lots of letters, papers, and sermon excerpts. It was the book of 2014 that inspired me the most.
A Spy Among Friends – Ben Macintyre
This was a great quick read. The lines between business and friendship, friend and enemy are horribly blurred in this tale of war, spies, and betrayal. It is an exciting story made even more interesting by the fact that it is actually true and very well researched. Although this is a non-fiction book, it reads quite often like an adventure novel. It was the book of 2014 that made me want to not be a spy the most.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – John Boyne
I may have never before cried so desperately for a novel. Actually, I am sure I haven’t. It was the book of 2014 that made me cry the most.
And there you have it. My tops of tops. Because I LOVE discussing reads with others, I shall also post a more complete list of 2014 reads. Have you read any of the same things? What were your tippity top favorites this year?